Salam Fayyad

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Posted by motoman 04/01/2009 @ 15:08

Tags : salam fayyad, palestinian authority, middle east, world

News headlines
Fayyad to church leaders: World must pressure Israel into compliance - Ma'an News Agency
Ramallah – Ma'an – Palestinian caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad met a delegation of Lutheran Church leaders from the US and Europe who are visiting Palestine. The delegation was led by the Lutheran Bishop of Jerusalem, Munib Yunan....
Fayyad government 'a Zionist phenomenon' - PRESS TV
Hamas lawmakers have lambasted the 'illegal' appointment of Salam Fayyad as Premier by the Palestinian Authority, saying the move serves the Zionist policies of Israel. The parliamentarians, a number of whom are held in Israeli prisons, said that the...
'WEF offered opportunity to push our cause to spotlight' - Jordan Times
By Mohammad Ben Hussein DEAD SEA - Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Sunday Palestinian officials seized the World Economic Forum (WEF) to bring the national cause to the spotlight. The Arab-Israeli conflict, particularly the stalled...
Abbas plans new Palestinian cabinet - Aljazeera.net
According to Palestinian officials, Abbas will ask Salam Fayyad, the current Palestinian prime minister, to form the new government. Fayyad, a US-educated economist, had said that he was quitting the role, but announced on April 1 that he would remain...
Real nuclear threat is Israel, not Iran, say Arabs - www.worldbulletin.net
Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Jordanian Prime Minister Nader al-Dahabi, and Russian special envoy to the Middle East Alexander Sultanov also attended the meeting. "Nuclear disarmament is a...
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya and his supporters in Gaza, May 1 - The Nation.
When I interviewed Salam Fayyad in Ramallah at the end of February, he was a worried man--and with reason. In June 2007 Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Fatah movement and the elected president of the Palestinian Authority, had installed Fayyad as the PA's...
Fayyad calls for end to land expropriation - Ynetnews
Battle over east Jerusalem lands heating up: Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Friday took part in a prayer held on disputed lands in the Abu Dis area, where protest tents have been set up following the Israeli demand to expropriate lands....
Pope: Walls don't last forever - Ynetnews
Abbas' presence at the ceremony in Bethlehem, as well as that of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also gave both a brief respite from the political turmoil in Ramallah over the formation of Fayyad's new government, which was scheduled to have...
Fatah says to maintain Fayyad's gov't before holding elections - Xinhua
GAZA, April 29 (Xinhua) -- A senior Fatah official on Wednesday revealed that the Palestinian factions agreed not to form a new government and to keep Salam Fayyad's government as a caretaker administration until holding new elections....

Salam Fayyad

Salam Fayyad

Fayyad with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni at the World Economic Forum in Davos, 2008.

Salam Fayyad (Arabic: سلام فياض‎; b. 1952 Deir al-Ghusun) is a Palestinian politician, who on 15 June 2007, was appointed Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority. His appointment, justified by President Mahmoud Abbas on the basis of "national emergency", has not been confirmed by the Palestinian Legislative Council, Palestine's parliament. Fayyad has also been the finance minister from 17 March 2007 and previously held the post from June 2002 to November 2006.

Fayyad is an internationally respected economist and politician. Salam Fayyad received his MBA from St. Edward's University in 1980. Fayyad has a PhD in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a student of William Barnett and did early research on the American Divisia Monetary Aggregates, which he continued on the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Fayyad began his career teaching economics at Yarmouk University in Jordan, before joining the World Bank from 1987 – 1995. He subsequently became the International Monetary Fund representative to the Palestinian National Authority until 2001, when he accepted the offer to become its finance minister.

Upon resigning as finance minister, Fayyad ran as founder and leader of the new Third Way party in the legislative elections of 2006 alongside Hanan Ashrawi and Yasser Abd Rabbo. Fayyad and Ashrawi won their seats.

He is seen as pro-Western and was predicted to be offered prime minister by both Fatah and by the winner of the elections: the List of Change and Reform. In response to the offer, Fayyad presented several conditions to becoming prime minister, including that Hamas would recognise Israel, which Hamas declined.

On 17 March 2007, Fayyad was again appointed finance minister, this time within the Fatah-Hamas coalition government. On 15 June 2007, following the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, Fayyad was appointed prime minister of a new "independent" government (without any Fatah or Hamas members) which is supported by the Fatah, Israel and the West.

This appointment has been challenged as illegal, because while the Palestinian Basic Law permits the president to dismiss a sitting prime minister, the appointment of a replacement requires the approval of the Legislative Council. The law provides that after removal of the prime minister (in this case, Ismail Haniyeh), the outgoing prime minister heads a caretaker government. The current Legislative Council, in which Hamas holds a majority of seats, has not approved the appointments of Fayyad or the balance of his new government. Fayyad's appointment was never placed before, or approved by the it.. Haniyeh continues to operate as prime minister in Gaza, and is recognized by a large number of Palestinians as the legitimate acting prime minister. Anis al-Qasem, a constitutional lawyer who drafted the Basic Law, is among those who publicly declared the appointment of Fayyad to be illegal..

On 17 October 2008, while visiting the University of Texas in Austin, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award before the Texas-Missouri football game, presented by the Ex-Students' Association of the University of Texas.

On 7 March 2009, Salam Fayyad submitted his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas.

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Hanan Ashrawi

ASHRAWI.JPG

Dr Hanan Daoud Khalil Ashrawi (b. October 8, 1946) is a Palestinian legislator, activist, and scholar. She was a protégé and later colleague and close friend of Edward Said. Ashrawi was an important leader during the First Intifada, served as the official spokesperson for the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace process, and has been elected numerous times to the Palestinian Legislative Council. Ashrawi is a member of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's Third Way party.

Ashrawi serves on the Advisory Board of several international and local organizations including the World Bank Middle East and North Africa (MENA), United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and the International Human Rights Council.

She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in literature in the Department of English at the American University of Beirut. Ashrawi also has a Ph.D. in Medieval and Comparative Literature from the University of Virginia.

Ashrawi was born to Palestinian Christian parents on October 8, 1946 in the West Bank city of Nablus. Her father, Daoud Mikhail, was a founder of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Her family later moved to Ramallah, where she attended the Ramallah Friends Girls School. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in literature in the Department of English at the American University of Beirut. While a graduate student in literature at the American University in Beirut she dated Peter Jennings of ABC News who was then stationed there as ABC's Beirut bureau chief. When the Six-Day War broke out in 1967, Ashrawi as a 22 year-old student in Lebanon, was declared an absentee by Israel and denied re-entry to the West Bank. For the next six years, Ashrawi traveled and completed her education gaining a Ph.D. in Medieval and Comparative Literature from the University of Virginia. Ashrawi was finally allowed to re-join her family in 1973 under the family reunification plan.

On August 8, 1975 she married Emil Ashrawi (born 1951), a Christian Jerusalemite who is now a photographer and a theater director. Together they have two daughters, Amal (born 1977) and Zeina (born 1981).

Ashrawi received an Honorary Doctoral Degree at the American University of Beirut on June 28, 2008 as part of an award ceremony coinciding with the university's 139th commencement. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Palestine Studies.

Ashrawi holds honorary degrees from Earlham College and Smith College.

Ashrawi is a passionate advocate of many human rights and gender issues. She is the recipient of numerous international peace, human rights and democracy awards, such as the Olof Palme Award, the Defender of Democracy Award, the Jane Addams International Women's Leadership Award, the Distinguished Alumna Award of the University of Virginia Women's Center, the Distinguished Lifetime Achievements AUB Alumni Award, and the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation.

Like her parents, Ashrawi self-identifies as a devout Christian as well as a feminist. Her faith lead to criticism of her by Palestinan Islamic fundamentalists, claming that it keeps her from functioning as a proper spokesperson.

While voluntarily a student but denied re-entry to the occupied West Bank, she became the spokes-person for the General Union of Palestinian Students in Lebanon, helped organize women’s revolutionary groups and served as a guide to foreign reporters visiting refugee camps.

Ashrawi returned to the West Bank under the family reunification plan in 1973 and established the Department of English at Birzeit University. She served as Chair of that department from 1973 to 1978, and again from 1981 through 1984; and from 1986-1990 she served the university as Dean of the Faculty of Arts. She remained a faculty member at Birzeit University until 1995, publishing numerous poems, short stories, papers and articles on Palestinian culture, literature, and politics.

Ashrawi's political activism in the Occupied Palestinian territories began almost as early as her academic career at Birzeit. In 1974, she founded the Birzeit University Legal Aid Committee and Human Rights Action Project. Her political work took a greater leap in 1988 during the First Intifada, when she joined the Intifada Political Committee, serving on its Diplomatic Committee until 1993. From 1991 to 1993 she served as the official spokesperson of the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace process and a member of the Leadership/Guidance Committee and executive committee of the delegation.

From 1993 to 1995, with the signing of the Oslo Accords by Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, Palestinian self-rule was established, and Ashrawi headed the Preparatory Committee of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens' Rights in Jerusalem. Ashrawi has also served since 1996 as an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Jerusalem Governorate.

In 1996 Ashrawi was appointed the Palestinian Authority Minister of Higher Education and Research, but she resigned the post in 1998 in protest against political corruption, specifically Arafat's handling of peace talks.

In 1998, Ashrawi founded MIFTAH -- the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, an initiative which works towards respect for Palestinian human rights, democracy and peace.

In 2003 Ashrawi was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize. Her selection was controversial among some Jewish political organisations, who decried Ashrawi as "an apologist for terrorism" for, among other things, her refusal to condemn the lynching of two Israelis in Ramallah. Antony Loewenstein, a Jewish pro-Palestinian activist, arguned in his book My Israel Question that Australian Jewish commentators, predictably, defamed and vilified Ashrawi.

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Third Way (Palestinian Authority)

The Third Way is a small centrist Palestinian political party active in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Founded on December 16, 2005, the party is led by Salam Fayyad and Hanan Ashrawi, and the election Campaign was led by Sami Abdel-Shafi.

In the January 2006 PLC elections it received 2.41 % of the popular vote and won two of the Council's 132 seats.

The party presents itself as an alternative to the two-party system of Hamas and Fatah.

On June 15, 2007, Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas named Salam Fayyad Prime Minister of the new emergency government, following the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip.

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Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas (Arabic: محمود عباس‎ Maḥmūd ʾAbbās) (born 26 March 1935), also known by the kunya Abu Mazen (Arabic: ابو مازن‎), has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah (فتح Fataḥ) ticket. Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally extended his term for another year. Rival political party Hamas announced it would not recognise the extension. Abbas was chosen as the President of the "State of Palestine" by the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Central Council on 23 November 2008, a job he had held unofficially since 8 May 2005.

Abbas served as the first Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority from March to October 2003 when he resigned citing lack of support from Israel and the United States as well as "internal incitement" against his government. Before being named prime minister, Abbas led the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department.

Mahmoud Ridha Abbas was born in 1935 in Safed, then part of the British Mandate of Palestine. His family became refugees during the war of 1948 and settled in Syria. In Syria he attended school and graduated from the University of Damascus before going to Egypt where he studied law.

Later in his life, Abbas entered graduate studies at the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, where he earned a Candidate of Sciences degree (the Soviet equivalent of a PhD).

In the mid-1950s Abbas became heavily involved in underground Palestinian politics, joining a number of exiled Palestinians in Qatar, where he was Director of Personnel in the emirate's Civil Service. While there, he recruited a number of people who would become key figures in the Palestine Liberation Organization, and was one of the founding members of Fatah in 1957. Yasser Arafat was among the other key members.

At the same time he has performed diplomatic duties, presenting a moderating face for PLO policies. Abbas was the first PLO official to visit Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War in January 1993 to mend fences with the Gulf countries for the PLO's opposition to the US attack on Iraq during the crisis. At the 1993 peace accord with Israel, Abbas was the signatory for the PLO on 13 September 1993. He published a memoir, Through Secret Channels: The Road to Oslo (1995).

By early 2003, as both Israel and the United States had indicated their refusal to negotiate with Yasser Arafat, Abbas began to emerge as a candidate for a more visible leadership role. As one of the few remaining founding members of Fatah, he had some degree of credibility within the Palestinian cause, and his candidacy was bolstered by the fact that other high-profile Palestinians were for various reasons not suitable (the most notable, Marwan Bargouti, was under arrest in an Israeli jail). Abbas's reputation as a pragmatist garnered him favor with the West and certain elements of the Palestinian legislature, and pressure was soon brought on Arafat to appoint him prime minister. Arafat did so on 19 March 2003. Initially, Arafat attempted to undermine the post of prime minister, but was eventually forced to give Abbas some degree of power.

However, the rest of Abbas's term as prime minister continued to be characterised by numerous conflicts between him and Arafat over the distribution of power between the two. Abbas had often hinted he would resign if not given more control over the administration. In early September 2003, he confronted the Palestinian parliament over this issue. The United States and Israel accused Arafat of constantly undermining Abbas and his government.

In addition, Abbas came into conflict with Palestinian militant groups, notably the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine and Hamas because his pragmatic policies were opposed to their hard-line approach. However, he made it perfectly clear that he was forced to abandon, for the moment, the use of arms against Israeli civilians inside the green line due to its ineffectiveness.

Initially he pledged not to use force against the militants, in the interest of avoiding a civil war, and instead attempted negotiation. This was partially successful, resulting in a pledge from the two groups to honor a unilateral Palestinian cease-fire. However, continuing violence and Israeli "target killings" of known leaders forced Abbas to pledge a crackdown in order to uphold the Palestinian Authority's side of the Road map for peace. This led to a power struggle with Arafat over control of the Palestinian security services; Arafat refused to release control to Abbas, thus preventing him from using them on the militants.

Abbas resigned as prime minister in October 2003, citing lack of support from Israel and the United States as well as "internal incitement" against his government.

After Yasser Arafat's death Mahmoud Abbas was seen, at least by Fatah, as his natural successor.

On 25 November 2004, Abbas was endorsed by Fatah's Revolutionary Council as its preferred candidate for the presidential election, scheduled for 9 January 2005.

On 14 December Abbas called for an end to violence in the Second Intifada and a return to peaceful resistance. Abbas told the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that "the use of arms has been damaging and should end". However, he refused to disarm Palestinian militants and use force against groups that Israel, the United States and the European Union designated as terrorist organisations.

With Israeli forces arresting and restricting the movement of other candidates, Hamas' boycott of the election, and his campaign being given 94% of Palestine electoral campaign coverage on TV, Abbas' election was virtually ensured, and on 9 January Abbas was elected with 62% of the vote as President of the Palestinian National Authority.

In his speech, he addressed a crowd of supporters chanting "a million shahids", stating: "I present this victory to the soul of Yasser Arafat and present it to our people, to our martyrs and to 11,000 prisoners". He also called for Palestinian groups to end the use of arms against Israelis.

Despite Abbas' call for a peaceful solution, attacks by militant groups continued after his election, in a direct challenge to his authority. The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine launched a raid in Gaza on 12 January that killed one and wounded three military personnel in Gaza. On 13 January Palestinians from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Hamas, and the Popular Resistance Committees launched a suicide attack on the Karni crossing, killing six Israelis. As a result, Israel shut down the damaged terminal and broke off relations with Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, stating that Abbas must now show a gesture of peace by attempting to stop such attacks.

Abbas was formally sworn in as the Chairman of the Palestinian National Authority in a ceremony held on 15 January in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

On 23 January 2005, Israeli radio reported that Abbas had secured a thirty-day ceasefire from Hamas and Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine. On 12 February lone Palestinians attacked Israel settlements and Abbas quickly fired some of his security officers for not stopping the attacks in a ceasefire.

On 9 April 2005, Abbas said that the killing of three Palestinians in southern Gaza by Israeli soldiers is a deliberate violation of the declared ceasefire deal. "This violation is made on purpose," Abbas said in a written statement sent to reporters in the West Bank capital of Ramallah. Abbas made the statement shortly after three Palestinian teenage boys were shot dead by Israeli troops in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. Israel claimed they thought the boys were attempting to smuggle weapons, while Palestinians claimed a group of boys were playing soccer and three of them went to retrieve the ball near the border fence.

In response to the teens' deaths, Abbas said, "The Palestinian National Authority will not turn a blind eye to the shedding of the blood of our people and our children. We can never accept opening fire at our children who pose no danger at all." Abbas said the Palestinian children "are as precious to their parents as the Israeli children to their parents." Condemning the Israeli shooting as "unjustified", Abbas urged Israel to take serious actions to show commitment to the truce.

In May 2005, Abbas travelled to the White House and met with his American counterpart, George W. Bush. Bush, in return for Abbas' crackdown on terrorists, pledged 50 million USD in aid to the Palestinian Authority and reiterated the US pledge for a free Palestinian state. It was the first direct aid the United States has given to them, as previous donations have gone through non-governmental organizations. The next day Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada pledged 9.5 million CAD in new aid for judicial reform and housing projects, monitors for the coming Palestinian elections, border management and scholarships for Palestinian refugee women in Lebanon.

On 25 July 2005 he announced that he would move his office to Gaza until the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops. Also be coordinated the Palestinian side of the withdrawal to mediate between the different factions.

On 9 August 2005 he announced that legislative elections, originally scheduled for 17 July, would take place in January 2006. On 15 January 2006 he declared that despite unrest in Gaza, he would not change the set date of the elections (25 January), unless Israel decided to prevent Palestinians in East Jerusalem from voting. Hamas won a majority of votes in this vote.

On 16 January 2006, Abbas said that he would not run for office again at the end of his current term.

On 25 May, Abbas gave Hamas a ten-day deadline to accept the 1967 ceasefire lines.

On 2 June, Abbas again announced that if Hamas did not approve the prisoners' document—which calls for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict according to the 1967 borders—within two days, he would present the initiative as a referendum. This deadline was subsequently extended until 10 June 2006. Hamas spokesmen stated that a change in their stance would not occur, and that Abbas is not constitutionally permitted to call a referendum, especially so soon after the January elections.

Abbas warned Hamas on 8 October 2006 that he would call new legislative elections if it does not accept a coalition government. To recognize Israel was a condition he has presented for a coalition. But it was not clear if Abbas had the power to call new elections.

On 16 December 2006, Abbas called for new legislative elections, to bring an end to the parliamentary stalemate between Fatah and Hamas in forming a national coalition government.

On 17 March, 2007, a unity government was formed incorporating members of both Hamas and Fatah, with Ismail Haniyeh as Prime Minister and independent politicians taking many key portfolios.

On 14 June 2007, Abbas dissolved the Hamas-led unity government of Haniyeh, declared a state of emergency, and appointed Salam Fayyad in his place. This followed action by Hamas armed forces to take control of Palestinian Authority positions controlled by Fatah militias. The appointment of Fayyad to replace Haniyeh has been challenged as illegal, because under the Palestinian Basic Law, the president may dismiss a sitting prime minister, but may not appoint a replacement without the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council. According to the law, until a new prime minister is thus appointed, the outgoing prime minister heads a caretaker government. Fayyad's appointment was never placed before, or approved by the Legislative Council. For this reason, Haniyeh the Hamas prime minister has continued to operate in Gaza, and is recognised as by a large number of Palestinians as the legitimate acting prime minister. Anis al-Qasem, a constitutional lawyer who drafted the Basic Law, is among those who publicly declared Abbas' appointment of Fayyad to be illegal.

On 18 June 2007, the European Union promised to resume direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, Abbas dissolved the National Security Council, a sticking point in the defunct unity government with Hamas. That same day, the United States decided to end its fifteen-month embargo on the Palestinian Authority and resume aid, attempting to strengthen Abbas's West Bank government. A day later, the Fatah Central Committee cut off all ties and dialogue with Hamas, pending the return of Gaza.

On 2 March 2008, Abbas stated he was suspending peace talks with Israel, while Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to press on with the deadly military operations against militants who have been launching increasingly powerful rockets into southern Israel.

On 9 January 2009, Abbas term as president, at least as he was originally elected, ended. Abbas extended his term for another year, stating the Basic Law gave him the right to do so, so he could align the next presidential and parliamentary elections. Pointing to the Palestinian constitution, Hamas disputes the validity of this move, and considers Abbas' term to have ended, in which case Abdel Aziz Duwaik, Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (or, since Israel has detained the speaker, his deputy Ahmad Bahar) has become acting president.

Abbas' CandSc thesis, completed in 1982 at the Patrice Lumumba University, and defended at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, was entitled Relations between the Zionism and Nazism, 1933 – 1945 (Russian: "Связи между сионизмом и нацизмом. 1933 – 1945"), (other translation of the title: The Secret Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement.) and discussed topics such as the Haavara Agreement. The institute's director at the time, Yevgeny Primakov, appointed a Soviet-Palestine scholar, Vladimir Ivanovich Kisilev (Russian: Владимир Иванович Киселёв) as Abbas's dissertation adviser; he communicated with his student mostly in English and Arabic.. In an interview with the Kommersant magazine twenty years later, Dr Kisilev remembers Abbas as well-prepared graduate student, who came to Moscow with an already chosen research topic and a large amount of already prepared material.

As Abbas was appointed prime minister, the Israel Defense Forces discreetly deleted quotes from their website, providing excerpts from the their new partner’s book, questioning the use of gas chambers and talking of less than one million victims, along with statements supporting terrorism. The English translation of the book was also withdrawn by the Simon Wiesenthal Center prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, after a request from the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the American State Department, according to Member of the Knesset, Aryeh Eldad.

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Palestinian legislative election, 2006

Barghouti.jpg

On January 25, 2006, elections were held for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Notwithstanding the 2005 municipal elections and the January 9, 2005 presidential election, this was the first election to the PLC since 1996; subsequent elections had been repeatedly postponed due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinian voters in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including East Jerusalem were eligible to participate in the election.

Final results show that Hamas won the election, with 74 seats to the ruling-Fatah's 45, providing Hamas with the majority of the 132 available seats and the ability to form a majority government on their own.

Of the Electoral Lists, Hamas received 44.45% and Fatah 41.43% and of the Electoral Districts, Hamas party candidates received 41.73% and Fatah party candidates received 36.96%.

The Prime Minister, Ahmed Qurei, resigned, but at the request of President Mahmoud Abbas, remained as interim Prime Minister until February 19, when Hamas leader Ismail Haniya formed the new government. The Quartet threatened to cut funds to the Palestinian Authority following the elections.

The previous elections chose 88 PLC members from several multimember constituencies via block voting. In advance of the 2006 elections, Palestinian electoral law was changed to expand the PLC from 88 to 132 seats and create a degree of proportional representation via a parallel voting system.

Each voter receives two ballots. On the first, the voter chooses one of several nationwide party lists. 66 of the PLC seats are distributed proportionally (in accordance with the Sainte-Laguë method) to those lists that receive more than 2 % of the total list votes; if a list receives six seats, then the six candidates at the top of the list are elected to the PLC. Each list must include at least one woman in the first three names, at least one woman in the next four names, and at least one woman in the five names that follow.

The second ballot is for the voter's local constituency. The voter can cast up to as many votes for individual candidates as there are seats in his or her constituency. Votes are unweighted, and top-vote getters are elected to the PLC. For example, a voter in the Nablus district could cast up to six votes; the six candidates with the highest vote totals are elected.

In some constituencies, one or two seats are set aside for the Christian candidates with the most votes. For instance, in Ramallah, a five-seat constituency, the Christian candidate with the most votes will be elected to the PLC, even if he or she is not among top five candidates overall. The six seats reserved for Christians are considered the minimum quota for their representation in the council. .

Before the 2006 election, the PLC was dominated by the Fatah movement, which held 68 of the 88 seats. However, Fatah had been beset by internal strife in advance of the elections, with younger and more popular figures like Mohammed Dahlan, who took part in the negotiations of the 1993 Oslo Accords, and Marwan Barghouti (the latter currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli jail on terrorism charges) levelling allegations of corruption against Fatah leadership. Fatah organised primary elections to determine its list members, but the results were disputed and central lists imposed in some areas. The younger faction submitted a list dubbed Al-Mustaqbal ("the Future"), headed by Barghouti. However, on December 28, 2005, the leadership of the two factions agreed to submit a single list to voters, headed by Barghouti, who began actively campaigning for Fatah from his jail cell. Despite this, the two groups were by no means fully reconciled.

The main component of this list was the Islamist Hamas movement, Fatah's main rival on the Palestinian political scene. Unlike Fatah, Hamas has refused to recognize the right of Israel to exist. Hamas refused to participate in the 1996 elections because it viewed the Palestinian Authority as illegitimate due to its negotiations with Israel; while it has not changed that stance, it fielded candidates in 2006. Going into the election it had considerable momentum due to unexpected electoral success in the municipal elections in 2005.

The prospect of a Palestinian Authority dominated by Hamas alarmed Western governments, which almost universally consider it to be a terrorist group, and which provide foreign aid that makes up almost half of the PNA's budget. It was fear of a Hamas victory that was largely credited with driving the reconciliation between the main Fatah list and the Al-Mustaqbal breakaway faction.

This list was formed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and is named after Abu Ali Mustafa, the General Secretary of the PFLP who was assassinated by Israeli forces in 2001. The PFLP is the second largest member of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), after Fatah.

This list was headed by Finance Minister Dr Salam Fayyad and former PA Minister of Higher Education and Research Hanan Ashrawi. Their platform focused on reform of the security forces, democratic improvements and socioeconomic progress. .

In the run up to the election a Fatah leader in Nablus accused the Third Way of receiving funds from the CIA.

This list was a coalition of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian People's Party, the Palestine Democratic Union (Fida), and various independents. The list was headed by Qais Abd al-Karim (Abou Leila) from the DFLP. The PPP candidate received 2.67% in the Palestinian presidential election, 2005. In the list vote, its best vote was 6.6% in Bethlehem, followed by 4.5% in Ramallah and al-Bireh and 4.0% in Nablus.

Also known as the National Coalition for Justice and Democracy, this list was headed by Gazan doctor Eyad El-Sarraj, who was a consultant to the Palestinian delegation to the Camp David 2000 Summit and heads a group of Palestinian and Israeli academics working towards a peace agreement. The list's main platform is security reforms, establishing the rule of law and respect for human rights.

The militant Islamist group Islamic Jihad called on Palestinians to boycott the election.

On December 21, 2005, Israeli officials stated their intention to prevent voting in East Jerusalem, which, unlike most of the Palestinian-inhabited areas that are planned to participate in the election, is under Israeli civil and military control. (Israel annexed East Jerusalem in the wake of the Six-Day War; this move has not been recognized by most other governments, or by the PNA, which claims Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital.) Israel's stated motivation was not the argument about sovereignty over the area (Palestinian voters in East Jerusalem had been allowed to vote in previous PNA elections despite the dispute) but concern over Hamas' participation in -- and potential victory in -- the election. Muhammad Abu Tir, Mustafa Barghouti, and Hanan Ashrawi were all briefly detained by Israeli police when they attempted to campaign in East Jerusalem. In response, PNA officials stated that the election would not be held if East Jerusalem voters could not participate -- though this move was seen more as a pretext to postpone elections that Fatah might lose to Hamas than a debate over principle. However, on January 10, 2006, Israeli officials announced that a limited number of Palestinians in East Jerusalem would be able to cast votes at post offices, as they did in 1996. Palestinian candidates will also be allowed to campaign in East Jerusalem as long as they register with Israeli police -- and, a police spokesman noted, "Anyone who is a supporter of Hamas will not receive permission." Israeli police closed at least three Hamas election offices in East Jerusalem during the campaign.

No other lists were expected to exceed the 2% threshold.

No other lists were expected to exceed the 2% threshold.

Turnout was reported by the Central Elections Commission as being 74.6% — 76.0% in the Gaza Strip and 73.1% in the West Bank.

Exit polls indicated that Fatah emerged with more seats than Hamas, but not a majority of PLC seats. A poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research estimated that Fatah had won 42% of the national vote and Hamas 35%; the margin of error was 4%. Another exit poll, conducted by Birzeit University, largely viewed as the most authoritative estimation, had Fatah with 46.4% of the vote and Hamas with 39.5%; their tentative prediction of seat allocation had Fatah with 63 seats, four short of a majority; Hamas 58; the Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa list 3; The Third Way 2; Independent Palestine 2; The Alternative 2; and two independents .

Leaders from both Hamas and Fatah, however, announced on Thursday morning that Hamas was expected to win a majority. Ismail Haniya, who topped the Change and Reform list claimed "Hamas has won more than 70 seats in Gaza and the West Bank". . Another Hamas leader, Musheer al-Masri claimed the party expected to win 77 seats. Aljazeera reported Fatah officials conceding defeat. Prime minister Ahmed Qurei resigned on Thursday morning, along with his cabinet, saying it now fell to Hamas to form a government. . Hamas leader al-Masri called for a "political partnership" with Fatah, but prominent Fatah leader, Jibril Rajoub, rejected a coalition and called on Fatah to form a "responsible opposition".

The Central Elections Commission released the final results on Sunday, January 29, 2006, and announced that Hamas had won 74 of the 132 seats, while Fatah trailed with 45.

According to the results, Hamas won the large majority of the constituency seats but was more narrowly ahead on the lists. Fatah did beat Hamas in the constituencies in Qalqilya, Rafah, and Jericho. Jenin was split evenly, and Fatah won the seats reserved for Christians in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Ramallah.

The Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa list were prepared to join a Hamas-led government, but several others have refused.

The Quartet threatened to cut funds to the PA following the elections.

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Source : Wikipedia